Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged humor

It Doesn’t Count If… It’s the Last One: And 204 More Reasons Why You Can Eat That

Fat is not just a feminist issue; it’s everyone’s concern. We’re in an age where good health equals happiness—not a bad philosophy, but for our society's increasing problem with the relationship we have with our food. What we consider to be fat is often misguided; bodies come in all shapes and sizes. Yet, people go on unnecessary diets and eating obsessions to attain that "perfect" Western body sold to us by the higher powers. The word diet itself has negative connotations: to not eat, to lose weight, to lose something of the self.

I Love You, Man / Duplicity

I can’t remember the last time that I went to the theater and saw two movies in one day. For that matter, I can’t remember the last time that I was even able to afford that; I live in Manhattan, land of the thirteen dollar movie ticket. However, there were two recently released flicks that I was absolutely dying to see.

American Thighs: The Sweet Potato Queens' Guide to Preserving Your Assets

I admit that the title of this book had me at hello.

Cancer is a Bitch: (Or, I'd Rather Be Having A Midlife Crisis)

After completing her second novel (one about a woman dealing with breast cancer that her agent wasn't very excited about), Gail Konop Baker was actually diagnosed with the disease herself. In this book, she takes the journals that kick started her column "Bare-Breasted Mama" and turns them into this smart, funny, insightful, and intimate book about an event in her life that really rocked her world. I selected this read because it seems like cancer has been creeping around the six-degree-edges of my life lately.

The Late Bloomer's Revolution

Cute chick + NYC + media job + boyfriend troubles + comedically quirky friends and family + insipid metaphors + lightbulb moment resolution = book deal! Next, it will surely be opening at a multiplex near you. This read was so formulaic I had to remind myself that The Late Bloomer's Revolution is actually a memoir, not fictitious chick lit.

This is Burlesque

To go to a burlesque show is to indulge in somewhat of a lost form of entertainment. It’s as much about the experience as it is about the actual show. Sure, a line of beautiful women can strut around on stage in their skivvies, but if the nostalgia factor isn’t there, then it’s just another striptease.

Margaret Cho’s Beautiful Tour

Margaret Cho’s Beautiful Tour, which began in February 2008, is still scheduled to visit a number of lucky locations throughout the United States. As usual, Cho’s brand of feminist, LGBTQ, activist, and politicized humor was hilarious, raunchy, and thought-provoking. Unlike so much of the comedy gracing television screens lately, Cho continues to infuse her comedy with cutting edge analysis of race, gender, body image, and sexuality.

Queer Queens of Qomedy (08/01/2008)

Lesbians, like feminists, have no sense of humor. Or so we’ve been told… repeatedly. Poppy Champlin and her troupe of hilarious women-loving-women are busting that stereotype wide open. In various venues across the United States, the Queer Queens of Qomedy are met with crowds of queer fans and a hail of riotous laughter. I joined in on the gayety this past Friday night at the historic Birchmere music hall in Alexandria, Virginia, and I must say I’ve never laughed so hard in my life.

Brown Bagazine (Issue Four, Spring 2008)

Why do we read poetry and poetic prose? Some people like the unique language. Others recognize the “ordinary” described in a new way. We read poetry, ideally, to change, inside. Gypsy Daughter is a poetry chapbook and literary magazine publishing company. Their intention is to create an attractive physical venue for poets to reach their audience. Brown Bagazine, Gypsy Daughter’s quarterly literary magazine, is such a venue. I laughed with pleasure, when I first saw Brown Bagazine. What a clever idea, this is!

Marie Claire (May 2008)

I’m a magazine junkie. There’s nothing better than coming home to find your favorite magazine in the mailbox. I love thumbing through the ads and fashion spreads knowing full well that I will never be able to afford most of the clothes, but trying to glean some sense of what the latest themes are and how they will trickle down into my utilitarian wardrobe.

A Survival Guide for Landlocked Mermaids

Margot Datz’s A Survival Guide for Landlocked Mermaids is a wonderfully colorful picture book for adults - the kind of book that should come with matching postcards, a calendar, and refrigerator magnets. Datz is both writer and illustrator, and she does a delightful job with both. The focus of the book is how women can experience life to the fullest by living like mermaids.

Five Lessons I Didn't Learn From Breast Cancer (And One Big One I Did)

I’ve never had to battle cancer, but I’ve had many family members - including my mother right now - diagnosed with other forms of cancer. It’s difficult to find a light side to cancer when you’re fighting for your life. Shelley Lewis, however, writes about her experience with humor and advice for a world that has marketed breast cancer. One thing that sets Lewis’ book apart is that she makes a point to say that breast cancer didn’t change her or give her a profound realization about her life; she’s the same person she was before the cancer.


“If the garbage man doesn’t come for a couple weeks, we all die of cholera.” If you are unfamiliar with Jack Pendarvis, there is really nothing I can say that would adequately prepare you for a foray into his debut novel, Awesome, except perhaps that the “best” modern humor seems to come at you in throngs of grotesque hyperbole.

It’s a Jungle Out There: The Feminist Survival Guide to Politically Inhospitable Environments

If you keep up with the purported leaders of feminist blogging, or if you heard any of the controversy about the John Edwards campaign bloggers last year, the name Amanda Marcotte may ring a bell.

Mamba Condoms

Well, I did make a concerted effort, and asked for a deadline extension, and enlisted the assistance of my women’s book group, but it appears that product testing in this case is indefinitely delayed. I’m in good company: one of the most attractive members of the reading circle, a doe-eyed, winsome, gamin brunette, has informed me that she’s also given up. Another responded, “Oh, yeah—I read the e-mail. But I have a dozen in my drawer, gathering dust.” This is sad.

The Five-Forty-Five to Cannes

No point beating about the bush. Might as well get the finale over with right now at the top, instead of coyly building to it with flourishes of logic and neat exempla. Here goes. This is one terrific book Tess Uriza Holthe has written. It's tough, slapstick, delicate, witty, bawdy, rueful and superbly crafted. One minute she throws her head back in laughter; the next she whips out a blade and knifes you in the ribs. Can't trust her at all, meaning she's the best sort of writer.


As a former trailer inhabitant myself, I was quite curious to see how Antsy McClain and the Trailer Park Troubadours’ latest album, Trailercana, would move me. While I was not immediately turned off as Antsy and his band of rockabilly misfits cranked out twangy opener “Living in Aluminum” and other saloony sing-alongs, Trailercana isn’t an album I’d listen to more than once. Not to say Antsy and the Trailer Park Troubadours don’t do what they do well.

Bam Bam and Celeste

Antithetical to the laugh-so-hard-you’ll-cry theory is comedian and activist Margaret Cho, who will have you crying, hard, before making you laugh like you’ve never laughed before. In her stand-up shows, she tells achingly raw stories about the torment of growing up “different” and does so in a way that makes her the only comedian who can respond to racial slurs with “fuck you” and pull it off like the most brilliant one-liner ever.

Big Dreams Little Tokyo: A Half Japanese Comedy

Big Dreams Little Tokyo is written by, directed by and stars David Boyle, who plays the character of Boyd, an awkward American who speaks perfect Japanese. Boyd is a well-dressed young man who claims to be a businessman, yet his most successful business only has one client. The relationship that subtly develops between Boyd and Mai, a nurse and his only English student, is the most enjoyable aspect of the movie.


The untimely murder of indie heroine director and producer Adrienne Shelley was inevitably on my mind as I watched her supporting performance. Waitress is set up to make you love it, and for many reasons, one can. Lush colors, laugh out loud humor and delicious-looking pies are enticing.

The Actress

The Actress is nothing more than another chauvinist movie that transforms the woman into the “foul temptress.” The “foul temptress” in this movie is an actress who moves in with three roommates: two men and a lesbian woman. The men have less than glamorous jobs, and one is a chronic masturbator. The lesbian roommate seems to be the most level-headed of the three, although she and her girlfriend have just broken up when the actress comes to stay. This "actress" never goes to an audition while staying with the roommates and never pays rent.

You Live for the Fight When That’s All That You’ve Got #1

This zine is the latest from the woman who brought the world five issues of A Renegade’s Handbook to Love & Sabotage. After her dad’s unexpected death in 2002, she took a break from producing zines because “the words just didn’t come out in a way that felt right” to her. With You Live for the Fight…, she is “trying to let the words come out in a way that feels right to them.” I’m really excited by the way the words came out.

I Hate You, Rob Crow

Pinback frontman Rob Crow has released his first single, I Hate You, Rob Crow, from his solo debut, Living Well. The single includes the title track, “Slick,” “Sea Sawn,” and the video for “I Hate You, Rob Crow.” “I Hate You, Rob Crow” is an especially catchy tune, while the other two tracks are of the dark and moody variety, but still make for excellent listening. Rob Crow obviously has no problem poking fun at himself.

Fay Grim

Fay Grim is the sequel to Hal Hartley’s 1997 film Henry Fool, in which Queens garbage man Simon Fool (James Urbaniak) was befriended by the eponymous hero (Thomas Jay Ryan), who encouraged his literary ambitions. Simon wins the Nobel Prize for his poetry, Henry marries Simon’s sister Fay (Parker Posey) and they have a son, but at the film’s conclusion Henry flees the country to avoid arrest, leaving Simon to take the rap for aiding him. This back story is skillfully established in the first 20 minutes of the film, which is set seven years after Henry’s disappearance.

How to be a Model (A 12 Step Plan)

How to be a Model (A 12 Step Plan) is everything you didn’t anticipate. This ex-model uses her newfound filmmaking skills to take viewers behind the scenes of this not-so-glamorous lifestyle, and - instead of teaching us how to become a model - she teaches us how to recover from modeling.

Cat and Girl

Since 1999, Dorothy Gambrell’s Cat and Girl has graced the internet with its mordant critique of consumer society, indie rock, hipsters and everything that takes itself too seriously. A volume of more than 200 of these strips was published last year, making it available for the first time in a format suitable for reading on the subway. There are actually two girls in Cat and Girl, versions of each other: the nerdier Girl and the punkier Girl.

Throws Like a Girl Rocks! (2/8-2/24/2007)

The Austin Rude Mechanicals (or Rude Mechs) presented its fourth “Throws Like a Girl” (TLAG) series this year from February 8-24 at the Austin Off Center. Originally produced in conjunction with the University of Texas Theater and Dance Department, Rude Mechs has made the TLAG series a fixture in Austin’s theater scene since 2000.

Still Life with Husband

“Why would a woman - and it seems like it’s always women - do that to herself?” And so starts the musings of Lauren Fox in Still Life with Husband. Stuck in a world where gender roles are spilling into every aspect of her life, Emily is struggling to resist the urge to conform and dealing with the onslaught of confusion that her refusal is causing. At 30, Emily’s biological clock hasn’t even been set, a fact that’s a hard realization to her husband and those around her, such as her mother who is desperate to be a grandmother and her pregnant best friend, Meg.

Thirteen Tales of Love and Revenge

When I started to listen to Thirteen Tales of Love and Revenge, I thought “Oh, folk rock, how… er… nice.” Not that I have anything against folk rock, but… Then the beat kicked in. Forty minutes later, I was still dancing in my seat. This music rocks! The lyrics are good poetry about love, sex and strong women. There are some out of the ordinary instruments used on this album, such as a glockenspiel. I like different; it makes my senses perk up.

Foo Foo Yik Yik

Dynasty Handbag’s Foo Foo Yik Yik is the product of one-woman mind-blower Jibz Cameron with her trusty keyboard samples and drum machine. Her tender and humorous singing, moaning and whispering get into your brain quickly and stays put long after you’ve turned off the music. The album sounds like I thought I did Christmas morning 1984 when I got my Casio keyboard and spent the morning riffing to the ‘demo’ sample.